Erik ten Hag has all but confirmed Hakim Ziyech’s impending move to Chelsea.
Ten Hag, speaking with Fox Sports, admitted he was surprised that the Moroccan attacker did not leave sooner.
Chelsea are close to sealing a deal for Ziyech worth €45million (£38m), once the summer window opens.
It is believed the Blues tried to bring Ziyech in January, but Ajax told them a transfer at the end of the season was the best option.
“Ziyech to Chelsea? A transfer was coming, we expected it to happen.
“And I actually already expected this one or two years earlier. And each time it was: ‘Wow, he stayed again’. We are just happy that we will still have him until the end of the season,” Ten Hag said.
Ziyech has scored 48 goals and provided 82 assists in 159 matches for Ajax, since he joined from FC Twente in 2016.
He will be Frank Lampard’s first senior signing when the deal is completed.